About Me

My Photo
Mumbai, India
I run an IT Security consulting firm based out of India. We started off from scratch in 2001 when I was 21, and have offices in Mumbai, Bahrain, and UAE. The idea behind the blog is to share the stories of how we run the business, the deals we make, the deals that break, the heartburn, and the sheer joy.

The Ultimate Startup Guide

The Ultimate Startup Guide is an e-book that provides answers to all your questions related to starting and growing a business in India. Everything you wanted to know about entrepreneurship in India from ideation to registration to marketing to hiring. The book contains a large number of practical examples, anecdotes, interviews, and motivational material to help you get started, and to grow rapidly in a booming Indian economy. If you've got the idea, this book will help you through with the execution and realize your dreams. Here are some of the key questions you will find answered in this book:
  • When starting a business, what are the legal issues involved?
  • What form of incorporation is better suited to which type of business?
  • What tax issues are involved?
  • How do I start a business and what are the pitfalls?
  • How do I market my business in the absence of significant funding?
  • How do I get funded?
  • What are the basic accounting concepts I should be aware of?
  • What is a business plan and how should I build one?
The brief table of contents of the book is as follows:
  1. Getting started
  2. Ideation
  3. Forms of Enterprises
  4. Funding
  5. Basic Accounting and Taxation
  6. Import and Export Licensing
  7. Trademark and Patenting
  8. Rules for NRIs and Foreigners
  9. Building a Business Plan
  10. Marketing on a Shoestring
  11. Website and Branding
  12. Women Entrepreneurs
  13. Templates
To order the Ultimate Startup Guide - email me at kkmookhey@gmail.com.

Details of the book are:
Title: The Ultimate Startup Guide
Author: Kanwal Mookhey
Pages: 150
Additional: Companion CD contains numerous templates for building your business plan, calculating cashflow, preparing profit and loss, and balance sheets, preparing invoices, your resume and profile, marketing material, websites, contracts, and many other useful and motivational material.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Review: Bootstrapper's Bible - Seth Godin

In one word - brilliant!

If you're starting off a business from scratch, or struggling through the pains of keeping your overheads low and competing with the big guys, then the Bootstrapper's Bible by Seth Godin is for you. It's available free for download here.

Some gems from the book:

  • A brilliant idea will kill you. Go for an idea that is likely to make you money, not necessarily something that you personally think is great. He gives the example of the Inc. 500, which is a list of the fastest growing small companies, and almost all of them are bootstrapped, and many of them are in boring, mundane lines of business (the #1 company makes toothbrushes).
  • Don't get too caught up in trying to become a Bill Gates or a Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs. What may have worked for them is often an exception to the rule. While their business models get all the hype, very few people can actually replicate them.
  • Focus on sales and advertising. Often entrepreneurs - including yours truly - focus on the services and the products, and shy away from marketing. Personally, I have always felt I am really bad at marketing (so my next big challenge is already staring me in the face), and so haven't focused on meeting customers and pitching to them. But the importance of this is simply too great and very often overlooked by bootstrappers.
  • Get a mentor. And some pretty cool ways of going about getting mentors and dealing with them so the relationship doesn't go bust.
  • Ideas for calculating your cash flow. Based on what you've been spending and earning in the past 9 months. And the best point about getting credit from suppliers instead of trying to get money from banks or loans from family/friends. Very neat!
  • Just start! Don't plan so much that that's all you end up doing. Go out there. Get in front of customers. Talk to partners and vendors and peers. Get your idea into execution, even if you're holding onto your current job. Whatever you do, don't just sit around waiting for the right time, the right idea and the right execution plan. As Goethe apparently said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
The only downside would be that he doesn't directly stress the importance of practical things like search engine optimization or partnering with the right companies to get outsourced business. But at a strategy and thought-process level this book hits the mark.

3 comments:

Astha Jane said...

Just to add, the second last gem you point, 'Ideas for calculating your cash flow': It more or less explains the crux of the term 'bootstrapper'. In the business context, it means to start and grow a business with the least possible funds, using the returns of the business itself to make any progress.

Wish it were easy! But when I finished reading the book, I had a different perspective. What more, some tips also helped a cousin in his business.

apu said...

The last point is very important - not waiting for the "perfect time" to start - I doubt that will ever happen !

Intrepid said...

Astha Jane: Yes, and he also gives very simple templates for measuring and tracking cash flow.

Apu: You'd be surprised at the number of emails I get from people who are right on the verge of doing something but are afraid (quite naturally) of the risk of actually making the leap.